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Counterfeiting isn’t free money, it is theft. The money illicitly printed by counterfeiters doesn’t rest on any value produced, and will therefore deplete the value of dollars honestly earned by individuals and businesses. Counterfeiting therefore has a dual cost: a direct cost, with large R&D expenditures to protect the currency, and an indirect cost to the economy, by reducing the value of money.

With the economic interactions of mankind, money came around quickly – 2000 BC, per some historians. And with money, came theft. And with theft came violence, murder, property damage, evidence tampering, increased security costs and, most of all, fake money, which has taken every form, including electronic. It didn’t take long for nefarious individuals in every country to realize that it has more profitable to print fake bills than to earn money.

Every week, in Florida alone (1), approx. 70 000 counterfeit dollars are singled out and taken out of the market. And the number of arrests for banknote-forging has been on a steady rise since the year 2000. Fake money does have a cost, of course. But if it has a cost for central banks and secured printing firms who must always find more advanced ways to safeguard their paper from fraud, it has the same cost for counterfeiters – if not more, since they must operate in clandestine circumstances. It takes a large technical apparatus and top expertise to forge actual bills. It is in fact almost the name of the game to make money counterfeiting as least lucrative as possible, by adding security feature so complex they kill the profitability of the fraud.

Precisely, the first and main cost of fake bills lies in the amount of necessary technology to be injected into the notes. By working every aspect of the banknotes (ink, paper, design, security features), the cost of producing a reliable currency is greatly increased by the central banks who purchase the currency from printers. But there is an additional cost to the citizens who use the currency, and it is doubly insidious. First, their money will be worth less because of fraud. Second, they will be tempted to mover their operations towards electronic currency, which seems more secure but is in fact more liable to fraud. Third, whenever the bill is detected as forged – statistically more often when held by low-wage earners who resort more to cash and less to debit cards – the bill will be deemed worthless and refused. Malcolm Farr, analyzing money counterfeiting in Australia, says (2) “Fake currency is being found in restaurants and supermarkets and often it’s a low income earner — who is less likely to use a credit card — who is the loser.”

To tackle this economic disease, a retaliation triangle was set up: Prevention, detection and repression. Prevention is mostly the printer’s responsibility. Firms, such as Oberthur Fiduciaire (in charge of printing some of the euro banknotes (3)), oversee designing and producing banknotes. But they’re also responsible for creating a banknote nearly impossible to forge, by embedding as many security features within it. Many patents were registered by Oberthur Fiduciaire, for example, to uphold and protect banknote integrity in its finest details: Starsheen® (Security feature based on liquid crystal technology allowing brilliant and easily recognisable colorshifting effects), Labyrinth ® (Security background pattern against copying and scanning) or Diaphan® (New generation see-through public recognition security feature, combining iridescence and offset printing), and many others. Every time a new security feature is produced, money counterfeiters must reverse-engineer it before they can try to produce decent-quality forgeries. If the feature is solid, by the time the forgers crack it, a new feature will be produced. Thomas Savare, Oberthur Fiduciaire CEO, rightly considers that the fight against fake money is therefore an ongoing race.

Detection is made by banks (which scan the bills that come in) and retail (4) shop owners, who sometimes run a UV lamp over the notes they receive, so as to check their authenticity. If a concentration of forged banknotes is found in an area, it will trigger an investigation. Julie Zeveloff, executive editor of Business insider, gives a list of tips (5) to help counterfeit note detection : “Bills are printed with a security thread embedded in the bill rather than printed on it. The threads are clearly visible when the bill is held up to the light […] The threads also glow blue when held under a UV light.”

Finally, repression is made solely by government agencies. Since forging actual banknotes is considered a direct attack on the State, it is punished far more harshly than electronic fraud, which targets only private citizens and can be fragmented into small under-radar-cover misdemeanours, while yielding far more return in the end. Depending on the country and the magnitude of the fraud, sentences can be maximal: forged money can earn its creator 20 years of prison in the United States, a lifetime in Japan, and death in China.

This triple-set for fighting counterfeit money seems to work quite well, as counterfeit money circulating in the world is estimated to be under 0.1%, a rate far too low to incur economic danger for economies. But fraud has incurred defiance towards hard currency: “demand for banknotes is found to decline following a counterfeiting shock, consistent with a loss of confidence in the currency”, explains a study (6) from Reserve Bank of Australia, written by Nathan Viles, Alexandra Rush and Thomas Rohling, and entitled “The Social Costs of Currency Counterfeiting”. And vacuum was quickly filled by the emergence and generalization of electronic payment. The enormous surge in online fraud has now made electronic payments less safe than actual currency in bills or coins. It might seem at first glance it’s part of a general plan among thieves: to coax the public towards more electronic payments, where fraud is easier.

So, the expenses committed to protecting hard currency will make even more sense, if economies revert slowly back to hard cash, in the face of mounting online fraud. The securing of cash is therefore as vital as ever. Ewan Ogilvie, MD of Your Cash Europe Ltd, a European ATM provider, insists (7) upon it: “For small businesses, independent retailers and micro-businesses, cash is an absolute necessity for customer transactions, paying bills and employees”. It is vital for these companies that cash be protected, or the cost will be even higher than the price of protecting it today.

(1) http://www.businessinsider.com/the-real-price-of-counterfeit-money-infographic-2012-4?IR=T
(2) http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/budgeting/rba-report-highlights-the-cost-of-forged-currencies-to-low-income-earners-and-small-businesses/news-story/544f860913f284b0a52e28b85260ce0b
(3) http://www.moonproject.co.uk/beautiful-banknotes-oberthur-fiduciaire-takes-full-advantage-of-its-history-and-technological-change/
(4) http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/mcdonalds-test-the-key-to-uncovering-fake-50-notes-20161002-grthtz.html
(5) http://www.businessinsider.com/the-real-price-of-counterfeit-money-infographic-2012-4?IR=T
(6) http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2015/pdf/rdp2015-05.pdf
(7) http://www.newbusiness.co.uk/articles/banking-finance/the-new-polymer-note-what-does-it-mean-future-cash

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Students' Column

Literary Analysis: What Is It and How to Write It?

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Need to write a literary analysis? Here are all the important peculiarities about this type of writing as well as some common mistakes. Get familiar with them here!

How to Write a Literary Analysis

Writing a literary analysis is assigned to students for the purpose of evaluating their abilities to analyze and criticize. It is a great way to practice these abilities and develop some other skills, which may all come in handy in your future profession.

This kind of an academic paper is slightly different from essays, mostly in terms of style. An essay is mostly based on the information you find in different sources and your interpretation of this information. A literary analysis is based on the literary work itself, analyses conducted by other writers, and your review and evaluation of the work. Although you won’t need to read that much literature as you would need when writing an essay, you will need to read the literary piece, and it can be a rather large one.

Peculiarities of a Literary Analysis You Should Keep in Mind

Check out peculiar features of the analysis so that you would know how to format and style your text:

Peculiarities of style: third person, present tense

A writing style of a literary analysis doesn’t differ much from an ordinary essay’s style. While the literary piece you are analyzing could be written in the past tense, it has nothing to do with your text. Write in the present tense and in the third person. Personal pronouns are better to be avoided in all academic papers. However, with a literary analysis, your teacher or professor may allow some, especially if one part of the task was to share your personal attitude towards the literary piece. Clear this up before you start writing so that you wouldn’t have to rewrite everything later.

Peculiarities of language: informative, stuffed with literary terms

An important point to analyze in a literary work is the use of literary devices. Analyzing them means you will mention the terms in your text, which is exactly what the language requires. What devices you should look for:

·       Metaphors – when one thing is implied by mentioning another thing for showing resemblance;

·       Similes – when the author compares things (commonly used in descriptions);

·       Juxtapositions – when things are mentioned together for the purpose of creating a contrast between them;

·       Hyperboles – when the author exaggerates things to create a more powerful effect;

·       Allusions – when something is meant to be said without directly naming it.

These are the most common ones, but there are much more literary devices that can be used in the work you’re going to analyze, so follow the guidelines of your assignment and make sure you do exactly what the teacher or professor requires you to.

Apart from literary devices, you may be required to analyze types of humor used, e.g. find examples of irony or sarcasm and explain what they are used for. These terms will also make your analysis sound meaningful and informative.

Peculiarities of formatting: quotations

In an essay, citing is mostly used to present a fact or a credible opinion relevant to your topic, thus making your statements stronger. In a literary analysis, quotes are necessary for the better organization of the flow of ideas so that it would be easier for the reader to understand the analysis. Thus, you need to insert quotations when you are analyzing a particular character or literary device. They will serve as examples illustrating your further ideas.

You can also refer to critiques of other authors, agreeing or disagreeing with their analysis, but make sure you interpret their opinions in your own, original way.

Most Common Mistakes Students Make

Writing a literary analysis, you need to be attentive and watch out for these two commonly made mistakes:

Summarizing

Although it is based on the plot, your literary analysis is not a story or a summary. You need to understand the plot and show your understanding by analyzing the key points. Besides, it is supposed that the reader is already familiar with the plot. You may include brief summaries, but do it in the context of explaining them afterward.

Helpful tip: When you mention something about events or characters, ask yourself, “why does it matter?” This will help you switch your mind back to an analyzing mode and save you from rewriting the plot of a literary piece.

Presenting a character’s point of view instead of the author’s one

In most literary works, you can clearly differentiate where the author speaks from the character’s position and where he represents his own opinion. Oftentimes, these two are pretty different, if not opposing, and that creates confusion for students writing a literary analysis. As the number of characters grows with twists and turns of the plot, the number of different opinions grows as well, making it harder for you to understand what exactly you should analyze.

If you feel there are difficulties with this, get back to your assignment and purpose of writing. What exactly are you required to analyze? You can write down a list of characters along with key information about them to help yourself avoid confusion.

 Due to differences in the outlook and mindset, analyzing a book, article, or other literature is difficult, especially if it was written centuries ago by a foreign writer. But you won’t even notice how it may turn into an interesting activity. Yet, if you don’t feel like writing anything at all while the deadline is approaching, consider addressing a writing agency for help, or at least for some inspirational examples (for more information, visit here: youressayhelpers.com ).

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Your Ultimate Help to Clear Out Student Loans Quicker

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Drop the debt bus

Drop the Debt bus, photo taken by reds on tour

One thing which each of you will agree on is that paying out student loan isn’t a joke. The student loan debt may seem like it is going to last forever. But, it doesn’t have to. However, if you wish to make it go quicker, then you need to accentuate your student loan repayment strategy. Here is a help to clear out student loan quicker and remember it will work for just anyone:

  1. Make a little more than the least payment amount

It is one of the simplest ideas to lower your debt. Just check out the payments you need to make and add extra money to it. But you need to have a payment setup from beforehand, so anything is well settled. You can make this simple by going for automatic payments with the additional amount included in.

Even if it just a $15 dollar amount every month, it is something. Start with low, then slowly enhance the extra payment amount

  1. Solve the mathematic and look out for your payoff date

There is no exact number to it, but a lot of people do not remember the date on which they will be free of the student loan debt. Well, it is a great place to begin because when you know the date, you will make efforts to move it closer. The best way to find it out is add your student loan, put down the payment amounts every month and check on the new dues dates, you will find the date of your last payment.

  1. Consolidation and refinancing

Refinancing your loan is a great move to pay out your student loan quicker. The aim of refinancing is to lower the interest rates. It means more of your payouts wire to clearance of your student loan.

When you refinance the loan, you get a consolidated loan with only one monthly payout. It will also lower down your interest rate.

  1. Make use of a cash windfall

Cash windfalls are in several types. They comprise of lottery win, lawsuit settlement, compensation, insurance claim or inheritance. When you get a big sum of money from any source, you may get tempted to spend it. However, rather than spending it all and wasting the money, you can use it to clear out your student loan quicker.

Often tax payers get a cash windfall every year as tax refund, you can make use of that to clear out your student loan debt.

  1. Cut down your budget

If you wish to save money but you cannot increase your income, then it is advisable that you decrease your budget. A lot of people trim down their budgets. The motivation is that you just need to do is for a short term till your student loan is not clear.

  • Get rid of cable TV and surf online
  • Do not dine at restaurants rather cook good at home
  • You can get rid of your credit card to avoid extra debt. Often overspending of your credit card leads to credit card debt. The best way to consolidate credit card debt is to apply for best consolidation loans with a good lender.

 

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Can’t Teach, Won’t Teach? 5 Education Careers To Consider That Don’t Involve The Classroom

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Education student

When you’re considering credible career options, going into the education industry is always a very solid choice. However, when you’re not keen on becoming a school teacher at the elementary, middle, or high school levels, you can instantly look to write it off. But don’t. Because education can offer you more than a classroom position. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or progress in a different industry, or you’re just starting out, considering education would be a wise choice. The industry is forever in demand, and job opportunities are always on the rise. So, if you think this sector could be the one for you, here are five education based careers to consider that aren’t just about the classroom.

School Counsellor

Firstly, you could consider becoming a school counsellor. It may sound like an odd choice at first, but you’ll get to combine some really great skills. Not only are you required to be a licensed and certified psychologist, which gives you a great foundation, but you can also help young people that are in need. This could be your next step from a child psychologist or even prepare you for a career in that field later on in life.

Education Administrator

Next, you might like to think about the options available as an education administrator. Now, it’s important to note that to become an education administrator, you will need teaching experience. So this can be a great step to consider for a teacher that is looking to progress (or if you don’t mind some classroom stuff to start you off). You’ll have a lot of security in this role, and the earnings are often a lot higher too.

Industry Educator

However, if you don’t want to work in mainstream education, you could also look into the education options that are available in your current line of work. Because every industry will have some form of training in place and a lot of the time, it’s industry professionals that do the educating. Whether you need formal education like a master of nursing education, or specialist training, now’s the time to find out. Then, you could become a trainer in your specialism and teach in a very hands on way.

Training Specialist

However, you may also want to look into the ways that you could become a training specialist in general. You may not have experience in a certain industry, but you could be great at sharing your insight. So, it would be worth looking into training qualifications that are great for areas like HR or evening Training & Development itself.

Professor

Then, of course, you could also look into becoming a professor. This may be something that you’d be interested in doing due to the dual aspect of the job. Although professors teach, they educate at the postsecondary level on a subject that they’re passionate about, and with a syllabus that they’re likely to have created themselves. Plus, a huge portion of the job is about research, meaning you won’t be spending all of your time teaching.

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